Library’s book moun­tain gone be­fore lunchtime

Upper Hutt Leader - - FRONT PAGE - MATTHEWTSO

‘‘No-one ex­pected to have all the books here this early. ’’

Shift­ing 15,000 books from a red­stick­ered library can be done sur­pris­ingly quickly, a li­brar­ian says.

Start­ing about 8:30am on April 17, library staff and movers had sev­eral truck­loads of tomes safely housed by lunchtime at Up­per Hutt’s tem­po­rary pop-up library on the first floor of the CBD Tow­ers.

Up­per Hutt’s Cen­tral Library build­ing was closed to the pub­lic on Fe­bru­ary 7 – as­sessed as an earth­quake risk.

Up­per Hutt City Li­braries man­ager Mar­ion Read said the speed of the move from the build­ing on Fer­gus­son Drive was im­pres­sive.

‘‘No-one ex­pected to have all the books here this early. I think even the movers were sur­prised.’’

The set­ting up of shelv­ing and fur­ni­ture in the new space be­gan last week.

The books rep­re­sented about one third of the library’s to­tal col­lec­tion and were a mix of mostly new ar­rivals, chil­drens’ books, and pop­u­lar au­thors and ti­tles.

The rest of the col­lec­tion would re­main in the old build­ing and books were avail­able upon re­quest – staff would have to don a hard hat and hi-vis­i­bil­ity vest to re­trieve them.

Read said it would be a re­lief to have a new space for the pub­lic to ac­cess the library’s col­lec­tion and ser­vices once the pop-up site opens on April 26.

‘‘[A library] is a fo­cal point to the com­mu­nity. It’s good to of­fer a library ser­vice to our cus­tomers. Ob­vi­ously its not our full col­lec­tion but I be­lieve our cus­tomers are look­ing for­ward to hav­ing a space to come to.’’

The Pine­haven and the Mo­bile li­braries, which have ex­tended their hours in the ab­sence of the Cen­tral Library, will re­sume nor­mal hours and ser­vices once the pop-up site opens.

Up­per Hutt City Council di­rec­tor of com­mu­nity ser­vices Mike Ryan said the council was work­ing with con­trac­tors, en­gi­neers and the build­ing’s ar­chi­tects to de­velop a re­me­dial plan for the build­ing.

A council spokesman said a seis­mic as­sess­ment had iden­ti­fied ‘‘crit­i­cal’’ struc­tural weak­ness in the fixings be­tween the walls and roof­ing. Ex­tra strength­en­ing was needed to pre­vent ‘‘wall up­lift or dis­place­ment’’ in an earth­quake.

Ge­off Swain­son, the council’s di­rec­tor of as­set man­age­ment and op­er­a­tions, said they planned to have re­me­dial work com­pleted by the end of the year.

MATTHEW TSO/STUFF

Up­per Hutt City Council li­braries man­ager Mar­ion Read said it was great to have ser­vices back up and run­ning for cus­tomers.

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